Valdy remains one of the country’s purest and most credible storytellers – Toronto Star
A cultural emissary, Valdy is one of Canada’s trusted spokespersons, and a well seasoned performer. PM Stephen Harper has never sought Valdy’s talents to support the Reform/Canadian Alliance/PC party agenda.
Nearly thirty-seven years of relentless concert touring have made him who he is. Valdy understands that people have come to be entertained; he tailors each of his shows, as many as two hundred a year, to suit the audience at that specific venue.
“Valdy’s show is a disarming and practical blend of respect for the audience and show business expertise.” – the Edmonton Journal
Singer / Songwriter: His distinctive voice can be heard on classic, country and campus radio; songs reflecting joys, struggles and accomplishments in all of our lives, spiced with a wry wit.
“I cut my teeth on Henry Mancini; he taught me about melody. Combine that with a fine groove, and the rest is window dressing.” – Valdy
Guitarists pay attention to Valdy; his playing seems effortless, masking an underlying musical complexity; throughout the year, Valdy gives workshops on guitar accompaniment.
“One of the best evenings of entertainment Confederation Centre has ever seen … a man of formidable talents.” – Charlottetown Evening Patriot
— Career Bits —
* Song writing workshops. Movie sound tracks, TV and film scores, music producer.
* 16 albums, 22 singles, 4 Gold Records, nearly half a million units sold worldwide.
* 2 Juno awards, 7 Juno nominations (Country Male Vocalist & Folksinger).
* Twice was a panelist on the popular Front Page Challenge
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* “Songwriter of the Year” and CARAS awards in Folk/Bluegrass categories.
* Host of “BC Music Project” music video show, featuring BC artists from five cities and towns, a show that went on to win a Gold Ribbon Talent Development Award.
* Lead role on “The Beachcombers”, minor roles in 2 movie features.
* CBC simulcast (TV w/ Radio 2 stereo), the TV special “Folksinger Deluxe with a Side of Fries”.
* Invested as a member of the Order of Canada in July 2012
* Valdy has toured Canada for forty-six years, and plays regularly in New Zealand with Kiwi mate Graham Wardrop. He has also toured Austria, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland, and is an oft-invited performer at dozens of music festivals, including the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas.
Ellis Island Project is Harry Ellis , Andy Earle, and Gary Cassagnol. Harry Ellis is a long standing friend of the Old Church Theatre who you may have seen playing here on a few occasions with the great, Howard Baer. Harry’s impeccable timing and jazz sensibilities make him the perfect bandleader to form this talented Latin trio and put them under our roof for an unforgettable evening.
Harry Ellis – drums
Raised in New Jersey, Harry Ellis has had a long and varied career playing and traveling with such artists as Helen Reddy, Gary Lewis & the Playboys, Maria Muldar, Tanya Tucker, Michelle Wright, and Carol Baker. He has performed in jazz festivals in Europe and Asia with Milt Hinton, Buddy Tate, Warren Vaché, Danny Moss, and Roy Williamson, and in Canada with Peter Appleyard, Norm Amadio, Frank Wright, Michael Stewart, Bobby Fenton, George Koller, Hilario Duran, Luis Mario Ochoa, and Bill McBirnie to name but a few. Harry now resides in Prince Edward County and performs regularly with a wide assortment of players and singers in the area.
Andy Earle – guitar/vocal
Andy currently performs in practically any combination of single duo trio and full band. With a powerful voice, impeccable guitar work and an infectious sense of humour that permeates his performances, Andy Earle is a show not to be missed.
Whether detailing life’s joys or its sorrows, Andy is an utterly engrossing performer. While his fretwork is admirably agile, it’s as a vocalist that Andy truly shines; he caresses a lyric like a lover, his rich baritone a seductive purr both warm and inviting. Yet, soothing though it may be, there’s an ever-present and unmistakable sense of barely-controlled power to Andy’s singing, a raw and unbridled passion seething just under the surface.
Gary Cassagnol – bass
Gary’s background is Haitian but his playing career started in New York City. In the 60s he played with various bands exploring several musical genres. That versatility took him to Montreal in the 70s (during which time he toured with The Platters) and then to Toronto in the 90s …playing all the time as a guitar player.
Gary switched to the bass in the 90s by accident (because the bass player didn’t show up for a gig) and he’s been playing the bass ever since with several different acts, and mostly with Andy Earle for the last 15 years.
Their latest album – In Sink – captures all the best parts of Canadian roots-trio Dirty Dishes- rich harmonies, clever songwriting, country-tinged ballads and killer charm- but reflects a musical maturity, ease and playfulness that a band only achieves after a decade of playing together. Blending roots, folk-rock, bluegrass, gospel and country music, these sassy Dishes take the stage with extraordinary energy and flare, leaving you in stitches one minute, and reaching for your handkerchief the next!
Strumming Stories consists of band members Jason Hamilton on bass/guitar Jonathon Villeneff on lead vocals/guitar, Sean Morphet on lead guitar and Jeff Shortt on drums; seasoned songwriters looking to share their stories about love, cars and everything in between.
Driven by their passion of storytelling, and connected by their small town deep roots, the group of writers have spent the last few years developing music that best narrates a melodic memoir of growing up in rural Ontario. By pulling their influences from muscle cars, blue collars and Friday nights, they are able to create music and lyrics that audiences can connect with in their own communities and throughout their everyday lives.
Influenced by folk musics from all over the world, A Small Wee Band is a contemporary fusion of traditional folk perspectives. Oisin Hannigan (percussion, woodwinds), Georgia Hathaway (violin, mandolin) and Peter Klaassen (double bass, guitar) bring you on a musical tour across the Americas, Ireland, Turkey and the Balkans, offering a new take on old tunes as well as their own original compositions.
Returning to the Old Church Theatre, on tour from Australia!
Somewhere between songwriter, social worker and truth-seeker, sits 14X Australian Blues Award winner, Lloyd Spiegel. Named one of the top Australian guitarists of all time, Lloyd blends comedy, storytelling and jaw-dropping guitar chops to provide one of the most unique, solo, acoustic concert experiences in the world.
Picking up the guitar at age 4 and playing his first professional show at age 10, Lloyd can’t remember a time before playing guitar. By 16 he was on tour in the United States and has since performed at major festivals and iconic Juke Joints around the globe. He has supported the likes of Ray Charles, Bob Dylan and Etta James on tour and has sat with the founding fathers of modern blues including Brownie McGhee, who taught him the most important part of being a blues musician: connecting with everyday people.
Growing up in the music business, Lloyd is passionate about promoting the blues scene and mentoring the next generation. He has taken countless young artists under his wing who have since become multi-award winning performers in their own right and he has been an advocate for blues in Australia.
“A revelation, the consummate performer, an Oz Blues & Roots icon.” – Rolling Stone Australia
“A guitarist almost without peer, Spiegel deconstructs how the blues guitar is supposed to operate, makes sweet love to it, then kicks it out the back door” .– Australian Guitar Player Magazine
“Lloyd Spiegel…guitar magic and great stories. This show is value for money! Go, be amazed!”– Terry Seguin, CBC
Spiegel’s 8th release, ‘Backroads’ is a hard edged, personal and brutally honest account of his touring life and follows up from his previous albums, all of which debuted in the top 10 of the Australian independent music charts and holding the #1 spot on the Australian Blues Chart for several weeks.
“A guitarist almost without peer, Spiegel deconstructs how the blues guitar is supposed to operate, makes sweet love to it, then kicks it out the back door” – Australian Guitar Player Magazine.
ACCOLADES2016 Australian Blues Awards – Album of the year
2016 Australian Blues Awards – Song of the year
2016 Australian Blues Awards – Artist of the year
2016 Australian Blues Awards – Producer of the year
2015 Victoria/Tasmania Blues Awards – Solo/duo of the year
2015 Victoria/Tasmania Blues Awards – Song of the year
2015 Victoria/Tasmania Blues Awards – Album of the year
2010 Victorian Blues award – Male artist of the year
2010 Victorian Blues award – Producer of the year
2010 Victorian Blues award – Solo/duo of the year
2005 Australian Blues Award – Male artist of the year
2004 Victorian Blues Aaward – Solo/duo of the year
2004 Victorian Blues Award – Male artist of the year
2004 Victorian Blues Award – Song of the year
The Wakami Wailers transport audiences back to simpler times, through music and humour, telling the stories of Canada’s trappers, miners, settlers, and lumberjacks.
In 1981, four employees at Wakami Lake Provincial Park, near Chapleau, Ontario, formed the Wakami Wailers to interpret Canada’s colourful history through songs and stories.
In 1984, Mark Despault, Rob Hollett, Mike Bernier, and Jeff Allen were commissioned by the Government of Ontario to develop a musical interpretation of the province’s rich white pine lumbering heritage. They developed the interpretive showcase “The Last of the White Pine Loggers”, and toured extensively throughout Ontario. This show has since been enjoyed by audiences throughout North America, from Epcot Center in Florida, to Expo 86 in Vancouver.
In 1985, they were retained by Parks Canada to develop a musical play depicting 100 years of Canada’s National Parks history.
They have performed on the soundtrack of two award winning films: The Winter Camp, a depiction of life in a turn of the century lumber camp, and Places Out of Time, an exploration of the first 100 years of Ontario Parks. They have also contributed music to a documentary project produced in Simcoe, Ontario, examining the unique alligator tug boats used for logging since the late 19th century.
To date, the Wakami Wailers have produced three releases: Recording for their first release, The Last of the White Pine Loggers, began in 1986 in North Bay, Ontario, and was completed two years later at Studio 29, near Campbellford. The album went on to sell over 10,000 copies and received a wonderful response from folkies, reviewers, and historians. Their second recording, Waltz With the Woods, is a salute to Ontario’s heritage and its Provincial Parks. It features, for the most part, original songs penned by the band members. In 1999, they recapture the feel of their original album with a third release, River Through the Pines, revisiting the lumberjack theme.
We’re happy to have Michael Schatte back to the Old Church Theatre. Joining him this time will be the incredible Ryan Spratt on upright bass.
It is no exaggeration to say that Michael Schatte (pronounced SHAW-tee) has emerged as one of the most compelling guitarists and singer/songwriters on the North American roots music scene. Since early 2015, when he was a top-eight finalist at the Memphis International Blues Challenge and performed at Tennessee’s historic Orpheum Theatre, Schatte has appeared on some of the continent’s best festival and theatre stage’s winning new fans and a reputation for world-class musicianship by way of more than 200 concerts in Canada and the United States.
Though Schatte loves the blues (and evidently does it well), it’s just one ingredient in what he calls Eclectic Electric Roots Music, a brew of original rock, blues, celtic, bluegrass, country and rockabilly he’s been writing, recording, and performing throughout his career.
This unique blend of genres is delivered with stunning impact on his latest studio album, Turn Back the Vikings. Recorded in his home base of Toronto and mixed in Austin, Texas by Simon Tassano (the live and studio engineer of choice for folk-rock legend Richard Thompson, whose Sam Jones is the sole cover song on Vikings), the new album is Michael’s finest work to date, prompting Britain’s Blues Matters! magazine to call him “one of the best undiscovered songwriters of our times.” Intelligent lyrics, hook-filled arrangements, and Schatte’s rich singing voice certainly have a way of capturing attention, but it’s his work on a certain six-string plank of wood that ties it all together musically.
Lee, Mark Knopfler and of course the aforementioned Richard Thompson as major influences on both his electric and acoustic fingerstyle playing. Reviewing a recent concert at Aeolian Hall in London, The Beat Magazine described Schatte as “one of Canada’s best-kept secrets and certainly one of its most skilled rock performers,” citing his “masterful manipulation of the guitar” and a vocal style “as polished as his picking.”
Last time at the Old Church!
Danny Brooks has long been referred to as ‘The Real Deal’ and after years of honing his writing and performing skills in Canada, picking up nominations and awards along the way, Brooks is at home in the Texas music scene and traveling throughout the USA. Mixing Southern Soul, Americana, Blues and Gospel, he is quickly being recognized as a prolific writer and dynamic live performer, and is constantly on the road.
Making Llano Texas his home (just west of Austin), ‘Texassippi Soul Man’ Danny Brooks & Lil Miss Debi are releasing their second ‘Texas’ studio recording ‘This World Is Not Your Friend’, at Larry Nye’s La-Z-L Studio, slated for a January 15th release. This recording will please those who have long expressed a desire to hear a ‘stripped down’ approach to Brooks music, in that it will feature the duo he has with his wife Debi Middlebrook Brooks who sings and plays cajon/percussion while Brooks plays assorted guitars/slide/cigar-box/stomp-board and harp-rack.
Brooks has worked with Legendary producers Jim Dickinson on ‘Its A Southern Thing’ which received high praise fromCub Coda (Smokin’ In The Boy Room/All Music Guide), Johnny Sandlin, (Capri
corn Records Producer) on ‘No Easy Way Out’, that featured the legendary Muscle Shoals musicians David Hood, Spooner Oldham, Bonnie Bramlett. Frazer Mohawk (Elektra) and bassist Tim Drummond (Bob Dylan/Neil Young/James Brown) referred to Brooks as the Real Deal on NorthernBlues recording ‘Saved! The NorthernBlues Gospel Allstars’. On the first two Soulsville recordings, Brookscredits Richard Bell, (Janice Joplin/The Band/Colin Linden) who produced and played keyboards as preparing him for the world stage.
‘Texassippi Soul Man’ Danny Brooks & Lil Miss Debi hit the road January 31st on their ‘Blue Highway Tour’ (they make a good racket on assorted guitars/stomp-board/harp-rack/cajon/percussion and singing with all their might, with an Elite 3 way Yorkville PA System). As situations dictate, they perform with both Canadian and American bands. Info on the Canadian andAmerican bands is available on the website. T
heir duo live show has drawn comparisons to White Stripes/Black Keys/Keb Mo/Allman Bros.
Crucial Music in Studio City California is representing Brooks’ music to film/tv/commercials and has had ‘You’ll Find A Way’, a soul ballad from Rock This House aired on ABC’s TV Show The Fosters.
“He’s that special musical jewel that we’ve never really had in Canada … he’s our Solomon Burke, Otis Redding, Taj Mahal and Ralph Stanley rolled into one performer”. Chris Darton/Maple Blues Magazine
“Listening to Danny Brooks is like driving out of Memphis, TN on a sunny Saturday morning into the Mississippi Delta listening to WDIA. It’s one of those things where time stands still. A dash of Eddie Hinton, Solomon Burke, Rev. James Cleveland and Howlin’ Wolf are all ingredients in Danny’s soulful musical stew’” states Greg Martin of the Kentucky Headhunters.
Maybe Greg Quill, noted musician and arts writer for the Toronto Star, sums it up the best: ‘This is Roots music of great distinction.’
Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee— three Ladies Of Jazz whose music impacted the lives of millions for over 70 years. On Thursday, March 26th we pay tribute.
Carin Redman explores the music of Sarah Vaughan, Lenni Stewart sings Ella Fitzgerald, and Karen Oxorn pays tribute to Peggy Lee— all accompanied by guitarist Michael Monis with Howard Baer onBass, and all on stage at Old Church Theatre.
Carin Redman has performed her rich repertoire of jazz, pop and R‘n’B for over 20 years. She ran the beloved Toronto jazz venue Ten Feet Tall and has been a performer at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival, the Beaches Jazz Festival and many of Toronto’s prominent venues.
Recently Carin has moved to the Kawarthas area and is thrilled to be performing in many of the local and very charming venues with some of Canada’s finest musicians.
Canadian songstress Lenni Stewart delivers the ‘Swing’ every time to the enduring tunes of the American Songbook, Broadway Jazz and Torch. Class, sass, charm and sophistication with a dose of the Comedienne, Lenni is a stage persona that is compelling to the senses and a tickle to the funny bone. Critics’ remark on her “vibrant beautiful vocals,” “excellent phrasing” and “emotionally honest interpretation of the lyrics”.
Lenni has completed two Canadian tours, from Whitehorse in the West to the Sydney in the East, with Hollywood legend Mickey Rooney and his wife Jan as their opening act for “Let’s Put on a Show” with tenor Julian Gallo. Her continued collaboration with Gallo brings audiences to their feet with their themed concerts Hits of the Blitz, Broadway Serenade and Sounds of Ireland. Lenni has appeared with Lenny Graf’s Platinum Orchestra, the Harry Ellis Trio, and numerous other respected Jazz musicians, as well as her Jazz trio Manhattan Rouge.
Karen Oxorn’s musical journey began later in life when she discovered that singing along to Ella Fitzgerald helped her deal with the heartbreak of a failing love affair. The romance ended but her love of performing has been going strong ever since. Karen has developed a dedicated following and has performed at the Ottawa Grassroots Festival, GigSpace, the National Arts Centre Fourth Stage, the TD Ottawa Jazz Festival, Merrickville’s Jazz Fest and the Buckingham Buzz Festival as well as at local jazz clubs.
Noted jazz historian Ron Sweetman describes Karen’s singing as having “real feeling and a subtle swing in a deep, rich voice.” Jacques Emond, founding artistic director of the Ottawa Jazz Festival, commented: “Talented and versatile Karen Oxorn is a very interesting vocalist. She has a warm and swinging straightforward voice skilled with ballads as well as upbeat songs.” In addition to singing and producing concerts, she enjoys supporting the music community in a variety of ways— She hosted “Swing Is In The Air” on CKCU-FM radio for a couple of years and is the Artistic Director of Merrickville’s Jazz Fest.
On the heels of a 38yr career in studio recording as composer-arranger-producer creating music for IMAX, CBC-TV, Solitudes and numerous educational music programs for kids, having had over 7000 of his arrangements recorded, and having been honoured with several JUNO nominations for his work, Howard Baer, a Warkworth resident, has changed musical direction.
Previously a keyboardist, trumpet player and conductor, Howard now enjoys playing various styles of music: jazz, swing, blues, country, bluegrass, R&B, folk and classical …as an upright bassist. His main focus has been playing in various jazz configurations and coordinating music presentations for dining venues, festivals, weddings & special events. Howard has acted as Musical Coordinator of the Westben Jazz Fringe Festival for the past four seasons.
Comfortable in any musical style, and active in the Toronto music scene for well over thirty years, Michael Monis has toured extensively and worked both in studio and on stage with countless jazz greats from Moe Koffman to Jane Bunnett. Son of legendary guitar master Hank Monis, Michael currently resides with his family in Millbrook, Ontario.
Ennismore, Ontario’s Melissa Payne has truly left her mark on the musical landscape, and she’s just getting started. Her background in old time fiddle and traditional celtic music has evolved into a blossoming solo career, including two full length albums and another coming this April. Her live performances have garnered her critical acclaim, and notable guest collaborators like Blue Rodeo’s Greg Keelor, James McKenty, Matt Mays, Natalie MacMaster, cellist Nathaniel Smith and Jimmy Bowskill of The Sheepdogs, have her working with some of the biggest names in Canada, and beyond. Her upcoming record, Darker than your Dark explores an entirely different realm from the pages of her songbook. Nine original tracks that take the listener through the peaks and valleys of the life of this highly emotive artist who is just gaining her stride. Her honest and vulnerable approach to the songs that comprise her latest effort are sure to win over her dedicated fans and first time listeners alike.
An American-citizen raised in the heart of the Canadian prairies and maturing on the west coast of British Columbia, roots / Americana singer-songwriter Noah Derksen writes with the groundedness of harsh Manitoba winters mixed with the optimism of the BC coastline. He currently lives in the West End neighbourhood of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Ever seeking motion and progression, Noah has spent the past three years honing his live performance skills across Canada and the United States, playing concerts from BC to Nova Scotia, and New York to California. Since 2018, Noah played at renowned venues and events such as the National Arts Centre (Ottawa, ON), Northwest Folklife Festival (Seattle, WA), Club Passim (Cambridge, MA), Philadelphia Folksong Society (Philadelphia, PA), and the Winnipeg Folk Festival (Winnipeg, MB).
He has shared the concert stage with notable acts such as William Prince (Winnipeg, MB), Daniel Champagne (Australia), Star Anna (Seattle, WA), Luca Fogale (Vancouver, BC), and many others.
In 2019 Noah released his third full-length album entitled America, Dreaming. The album was produced by JUNO-award winning producer Murray Pulver, and features artwork by another JUNO-award winner Roberta Landreth. The album represents an observation of the United States and Noah’s identity as an American-citizen; an observation of how things change with time, and internally on his own shift in perspective.
Plus, Noah’s got long, flowing auburn hair and a twinkle in his eye. What’s not to love?
Too tough for folk and too blues influenced for country, Lynne Hanson’s brand of “porch music with a little red dirt” can turn on a dime from a sunshine, blue sky ballad to a full-on thunderstorm of gritty Americana swamp from one song to the next. She’s known for her high-energy, roots guitar driven live performances, whether playing solo or with her band the Good Intentions. A closet stand-up comedian, Lynne often leaves the audience howling with laughter with her between-song-banter.
Lynne is a two-time Canadian Folk Music Award winner (2018 English Songwriter, Ensemble of the Year with The LYNNeS), a two-time Indie Acoustic Project Alt-Country album of the year winner (River of Sand 2014, Uneven Ground 2017), a past winner of the Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award, and a two-time finalist in the prestigious Kerrville New Folk competition in Texas.
Lynne has performed in venues and festivals across Canada, parts of the United States, and in Europe, had official showcases in Memphis, TN and Austin TX, has toured in support of Grammy nominated songwriters (Gretchen Peters, Steve Forbert), and opened for guitar legend Albert Lee in the UK and Canada.
Canada’s Classic Bluesman, Harpdog Brown’s album For Love & Money is unlike anything you’ve heard from Dog! It’s a little bit Chicago and a lotta New Orleans and it’s guaranteed to move ya!
Harpdog Brown has grown a reputation as a real-deal purveyor of classic electric blues. Think of the old Chess Records and Sun Records of the late ’40s and early ‘50s. These days he’s been touring more and more as Harpdog Brown & the Uptown Blues Band – a vintage New Orleans Blues sound featuring slide trombone, keyboards, bass and drums and often a sax and clarinet. Still a vintage vibe, just a different vintage! This music will move you! They perform mostly originals yet they often include great songs of the masters from that era. Think Louis Jordan, Satchmo, Sonny Boy Williamson, Wynonie Harris, even Duke Ellington. Audiences are raving about this new show!
He’s been called a Blues Evangelist, and that’s a very fitting moniker. “I speak the blues like it’s the truth, and it is”, he was recently quoted. “I do feel like I’m a servant of the people. A missionary if you will. Music can heal people if they pay attention to the messages in these songs.” He delivers those messages using the vintage sound whether it be with his lowdown classic blues band the Travelin’ Blues Show or with his Uptown Blues Band. Harpdog says “Blues has a healing power. It’s a beautiful celebration of our perfectly flawed lives. We help people forget about their issues of the moment and then they realize that we all have our issues, and that’s OK.”
Vancouver-based Harpdog Brown was born in Edmonton in 1962, an adopted child who has felt somewhat detached his whole life – “a lifelong battle of not feeling like I belonged. I feel like I was born for the circus, you know, born to travel. The blues tapped me on the shoulder years ago and said ‘this is where you belong, son’. So the blues became my circus and there’s no better way to travel than with a band!”
Harpdog Brown is a gifted vocalist and an imaginative harmonica player. Piano man Dave Webb has been working with Harpdog over the years and they share an intuition that only comes with many hours and miles shared on and off stage. Joseph Abbott (Clarinet) and Brandon Lin (Trombone) are the newest and youngest additions to the band Rounding out the band is Rick Jacobson from the state of Washington on the tubs.
Harpdog has won three consecutive Maple Blues Awards for Harmonica Player of the Year (2014/2015/2016), the Fraser Valley Music Award, has three consecutive Western Canadian Music Awards Nominations, a Juno Nomination and is the only Canadian to win the coveted Muddy Award. In 2016, he was nominated for 3 Maple Blues Awards (Harmonica Player, Male Vocalist and Album of the Year) for his latest release Travelin’ With The Blues.
Travelin’ With The Blues released in 2016 is still sitting in the top roots and blues charts and follows his Top 20 charting 2014 release What It Is (Roots Music Report International Blues Albums).
Get off the couch and some see some seriously vintage blues that’s lots of fun!
“This band could play anywhere in the world, in any venue, large or small, and blues fans of all stripes would love this show.” – Holger Petersen, SiriusXM, CKUA and CBC broadcaster and President of Stony Plain Records